The Role of Active Demethylation in Cancer and Its Therapeutic Potential

  • Moshe Szyf
  • Paul M. Campbell
  • Nancy Detich
  • Jing Ni Ou
  • Stefan Hamm
  • Veronica Bovenzi
Part of the Medical Intelligence Unit book series (MIUN)


Regional hypermethylation and global hypomethylation coexist in cancer cells. Under-standing the mechanisms responsible for global hypomethylation and regional hypermethylation in cancer is required for the proper design of therapeutic strategies targeting the DNA methylation machinery. This chapter discusses different models explaining this paradox. Global hypomethylation is proposed to be associated with activation by demethylation of metastasis-associated genes. Thus, anticancer therapy directed at DNA methyltransferase might have the untoward effect of promoting metastasis. Inhibition of demethylase activity on the other hand could potentially inhibit metastasis. It is therefore important to identify and characterize the enzymes responsible for global hypomethylation in cancer.


Histone Acetylation Histone Methylation Global Hypomethylation Active Demethylation Demethylase Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© and Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moshe Szyf
    • 1
  • Paul M. Campbell
    • 1
  • Nancy Detich
    • 1
  • Jing Ni Ou
    • 1
  • Stefan Hamm
    • 1
  • Veronica Bovenzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and TherapeuticsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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